Imperfect is Important

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Lately I've been posting a lot using

the hashtag #showthestruggle.  Let’s be honest, more of the world is #doingitforthegram and posting perfect pics of their perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect lives.  Absolutely.  I am guilty too- I have edited and re-selfied too many times to count.  I am not posting pictures of bedtime meltdowns, or me hiding in the bathroom to get a quiet moment from my beautiful children, and yes- I am proud to post something I have finally mastered. 

But here’s the thing.  No matter what the skill (in the gym or in other parts of life), everyone starts somewhere.  The problem is we NEVER show anyone that part.  We show them the finished product, the perfect, edited, scrubbed version of what we have worked towards.  Sure, maybe we allude to the fact that we’ve been “working so hard” but we never actually show the efforts and the failure that have come before. 

This is what we show our kids.  That the world needs perfect.  That failing and falling down are unacceptable.   I see it when I coach the kids-  the embarrassment when they can’t get it 100% on the first or second try.  The frustration when it’s HARD.  The hesitation to even try it because they aren’t sure of themselves.  As adults we do it too, we posture and act like we know more than we do rather than ask questions.  We quit because we can’t get it right.  We don’t try and run that race because we picture being able to run a 6 minute mile the first time we lace up our running shoes…

We need to do everyone a favor and start showing the work.  Showing our friends and our families and hell, even our enemies… that we aren’t afraid to put in the time, the sweat, the effort to get better.  As Ben Bergeron put it, (Chasing Excellence #28 if you are so inclined) we need to reward EFFORT instead of talent. We need to start rewarding GRIT.  As a parent, that means rewarding the bravery to try again, the act of stepping up and trying something new and it means MODELING that as well.  Show the world the beauty of the process and embrace the parts that are not so pretty.  Show yourself that there is bravery and value in failing forward.  Because that is the only way progress is made.

Catherine Wall